Back in 2005, I had surgery to remove a tumor that had wrapped itself around my left hearing and balance nerves. Removing the tumor required removing those nerves, so when I awoke from surgery I was (and still am) completely deaf in my left ear.

I was also extremely off kilter due to the missing balance nerve, but I was determined to regain my balance and enlisted the help of a private yoga instructor (I couldn’t return to a yoga studio because I would’ve been falling all over the place). These balance-oriented sessions helped immensely.

I’ve been practicing – and loving – yoga ever since.

For the longest time I focused on holding poses, but eventually it dawned on me that the poses themselves are less important than how you get there. This revelation turned yoga into a slow motion dance for me.

For several years I went to the studio by myself, but then I met Melissa and now we go together. Doing yoga side-by-side with your partner is a wonderful thing.

And then the pandemic hit and we could no longer enjoy being around a room full of yogis moving and flowing with us.

Thankfully, one of our favorite instructors set herself up on Vimeo and offered on-demand classes, which we do a couple times a week from our basement. We also do live-streaming classes via Zoom, which was a little strange at first but now we love it. We don’t have to drive anywhere, we still get to see people we know, and best of all we can play our own music. It’s quite a treat doing hot yoga to a Metallica playlist :)

We’ve also been doing virtual classes at studios around the country like this one, and it’s been oddly fun seeing a screen full of people we don’t know practicing with us. We’re being extremely cautious about venturing out right now so apart from grocery stores and occasional outdoor events, these virtual classes are practically the only time we feel like we’re around other people.

When we can eventually attend an in-person class, it’s going to pretty hard to adapt to it. Since we mute our audio, we’re constantly talking in these virtual classes, often trying to crack each other up during balance poses to see who falls over first. I’m pretty sure we couldn’t do that in an actual studio.

It’ll be quite a while before we’re comfortable going to a studio, so for now we’re extremely thankful we can still do yoga in other ways despite this raging pandemic. Having a regular practice has really helped us stay somewhat sane during these insane times.

And now for something completely different…

I was born in England but moved to the US when I was very young. My parents held onto their British culture in many ways, one of which was continuing to watch British comedy.

When I was in elementary school, I remember walking in on my dad watching “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” I watched it with him and thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen.

The sketch I walked in on was the Upper Class Twit of the Year, which I found even funnier because one of the “twits” had the same name as one of my brothers.

My brothers and I continued to enjoy Python for decades and followed the cast’s post-Python work as well, especially John Cleese’s (in fact, my wife and I re-watched “A Fish Called Wanda” just last night).

So I was thrilled to discover John Cleese on Cameo, offering to create personalized videos for a fee. My oldest brother had a birthday coming up, so I couldn’t resist paying John Cleese to insult him as a birthday gift.

He did not disappoint.


In my early twenties I met a wonderful girl named Melissa. In previous relationships I felt like an outsider, but with her I was so at ease. We were young & stupid and let it slip away, but I always looked back on her as the one that got away.

Thirty-ish years later I was walking my dogs in a nearby park and I ran into Melissa. I couldn’t believe it was her, and I couldn’t believe she lived just a few miles away.

We walked and talked for a while that morning, and continued to walk and talk for weeks after. We pretended to be platonic, but I knew I loved her. One day I held her hand and it was the most connected I ever felt with someone.

We went through a lot to get to this point, but on January 1, 2019, we married. “Here Comes the Sun” played as she walked down the aisle, because that’s what she is to me. Our wedding dance was to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” which was when my friends and family learned I really can’t dance.

We love doing so many things together – hot yoga, running, hiking, martinis, and so much more – but our favorite thing is live music. In the past few years I’ve seen more concerts than I’ve seen in my entire life.

Roger Waters, Metallica, Buddy Guy, Beck, Primus, Rolling Stones, Trombone Shorty, Hamilton, Tool, Dweezil Zappa, Wilco, Aerosmith, Joe Bonamassa, Gary Clark Jr, Anthrax, George Clinton, Jonny Lang, Foo Fighters, the list goes on.

These days, of course, our concert-going has been put on pause. But we’re still having fun.

To keep us sane in lockdown, my wonderful wife filled the yard with toys. We have a badminton net, bean bag toss, croquet, hoppity hops, and a tiny kiddie pool to cool off in. We also bought inflatable paddle boards and kayaks so we can enjoy a nearby lake.

We don’t know where things are headed in this country, but we do know that we’ll continue to live a life of love, laughter, and music. I’m so glad for that morning in the park, and so glad I’m finally sharing this story with you.

Goodbye, Bella

Over the years I’ve shared my life with seven dogs and I’ve loved them all, but none has meant more to me than Bella. Today I had to let her go, and I’m remembering what an impact she has had on me.

She possessed a fiercely independent spirit that I connected with in a way I never have with any other creature, and that connection was so deep that it forced me to confront how we treat animals as mere product. I gave up eating meat in part because of the bond we have shared.

She was unique, she was beautiful, and she was loved. It hurts so much to let her go, but I’m so glad we shared each other’s lives. I like to think we were both better off for it.




“Look out you rock ‘n rollers … pretty soon now you’re gonna get older.”

One of the downsides of getting older that nobody tells you about is you live to see some of your cultural icons die.

My first hint of that came in eighth grade when John Lennon was murdered.  Even though the Beatles were before my time, their music was my soundtrack back then. John’s work in particular resonated with me, and his death came as a shock.

It’s weird losing these people I’ve never met whose creations have touched my life as deeply as only close friends have. Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Sagan, Frank Zappa, Jim Henson, George Carlin – when I heard of their deaths, I felt like I’d lost an old friend.

I feel a bit of that today with the news that David Bowie has died. His music has traveled with me all the way from the days of FM radio and LPs to these days of smartphones and streaming audio.

I never really connected with the various personas that Bowie adopted over the years, but I admired his ability to transform. Because another downside of getting older is we tend to forget we can still change.

We’re an odd hodgepodge of traits and beliefs we’ve tried on over the years and continue to wear even after they no longer fit us. Trying on something new seems dangerous compared to the safe comfort of lackluster familiarity.

That Bowie was able to change himself in front of us – multiple times – is almost as impressive as the body of work he created. Like all the icons I never knew who touched me all the same, I’m glad his time here intersected with mine.

My Son Can Dance

He certainly didn’t inherit this talent from my side of the gene pool, but my 16yr-old son Isaac is a pretty incredible dancer.

This weekend he performed in front of his high school classmates, most of whom had no idea of his gift for movement. Seeing and hearing them react to his moves was a great experience, and the standing ovation he received at the end was well-deserved.

Nice one, Isaac – I’m proud of you not just for your skills, but also for having the courage to get on stage alone and do what you love.

I Wear a Hearing Aid

Ten years ago I underwent surgery for an acoustic neuroma that resulted in the total loss of hearing on my left side.

At the time I didn’t think losing hearing in one ear would be a big deal – after all, I had another ear which worked just fine – but I quickly discovered otherwise. Unilateral hearing loss makes it very hard to hear anything over background noise, and sound on the same side as the deaf ear doesn’t always reach the good one.

Trying to hear people in a group situation became very stressful. I’d have to aim my good ear at the person talking which made me look pretty awkward, and I often got nasty looks from people because I’d talk over them without realizing they were already talking.

So I started avoiding group situations. I stopped going to conferences and stayed away from large get-togethers. If I really needed to be somewhere with a group, I’d make sure to arrive early so I could position myself on the left.

That’s the background story.

Today I got a CROS hearing aid, which transmits sound from my left side over to my right ear. It’s far from a perfect solution in that background noise will still be an issue, but it does enable me to hear those talking on my left side. After a decade of turning to hear people on my left it’s pretty amazing not to have to do that.

Tech as the Teen Common Ground

I was born in England in 1967. Two years later my family moved to the USA. Since then, many of my relatives have scattered across the globe.

When a cousin visits me in the USA – which happens maybe once every five years – we seek some common ground, and invariably it turns out to be music or some other form of entertainment. We start talking about the music and movies we like, and from there we find other things to talk about.

By when their kids interact with my kids, the common ground is tech.

My cousin from Germany visited us last week, and we wondered if our sons – who had never met – would have much to talk about. But it turned out they’re both avid users of Instagram and Snapchat, and they both run Minecraft servers and have YouTube channels where they talk about their gaming addiction.

Their common ground in tech was the starting point for their relationship, and that relationship continues even after we said our goodbyes thanks to the tech they use to communicate.

Why I Left Indie Development


In what feels like a different life now, I used to be a fairly well-known indie developer. I spoke at events like SXSW, and my blog had a large audience of people who liked hearing about my work on HomeSite, TopStyle and FeedDemon.

I parted ways with that life several years ago, in part because it’s extremely difficult to be a one-man show and still have time to be a husband and father. I was also burned out from years of doing my own support. I had lovely customers, of course, but I spent so much time supporting them that I wasn’t able to spend as much time feeding my code addiction. Almost everything I do professionally is so I can enjoy the bliss of getting lost in writing software.

But I also gave up pursuing the indie life because I wanted to make the switch to mobile development, and I didn’t see much future for indie mobile developers. The economics of the various app stores coupled with the plethora of free software didn’t paint a rosy picture for one-person companies building consumer apps. In fact, I didn’t make the leap to mobile until I was offered a full-time job as an Android dev.

So it’s been interesting reading the latest round of blog posts about the state of indie mobile development. While there are success stories, there certainly aren’t many of them. Making a decent living as an indie developer writing mobile apps is ridiculously hard – and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon.

A lot of mobile developers have left the indie ship and done as I have and joined a larger company, many of which look at mobile apps as a free (or nearly free) complement to their other offerings.1 There’s plenty of opportunity here for mobile developers, and I think that opportunity will continue to grow for a while.

  1. As an aside, I’m not convinced the “mobile as a complement” strategy is the right one long term. Mobile is becoming the primary way people access their information, to the point that web and desktop software are turning into the complement.